Minimising our impact on the environment is something that we feel very strongly about and as a school we are committed to becoming Carbon Net-Zero by 2030.
Our Environment Strategy outlines our commitment to become a leading ‘eco-school’ and benchmark for sustainability excellence in the independent education sector. Our strategy has the support of the School’s Senior Leadership and its implementation is being led by the School’s Environment Committee, which consists of student representatives and staff.
Many of our environmental initiatives are led by our students. We have Eco Reps in every form, a popular Fridays for Future club and an active senior Environmental Awareness Society. Members of these groups also attend our Environment Committee, along with teaching and support staff.
We are delighted to announce that we are one of the first schools in the world to work with the UN Climate Neutral Now Initiative to become a carbon-neutral organisation.
Along with this, we are well on our way to becoming a certified Eco School and we are one of the founding members of the London Schools Eco Network. Students from NLCS regularly meet with students from other schools to work on national campaigns, such as the Youth Climate Summit.
In the Summer of 2022 we were delighted to have been selected as one of the finalists in the Environmental Achievement category in the Independent School Parent Awards. We are very proud of our school communities support and commitment to help us minimise our impact on the environment and that this has been recognised by our nomination in these prestigious awards.
You can read our article in the latest issue of Independent School Parent.
Our carbon footprint has been calculated and independently audited by OneCarbonWorld, part of the UN Climate Neutral Now programme. Our students researched offsetting organisations and voted for Trees for Life, which means that native trees are planted in the Scottish highlands to offset our flights.
Education and Engagement
Our aim is to empower students so that they can convert their awareness into action and use their voice. Our Eco Reps work hard to communicate monthly campaigns to our school community. The Year 11 Green Team are in charge of auditing the school so that they can apply for Eco Schools status. The Sixth Form Environmental Awareness Society invite a range of speakers, plan and deliver assemblies and coordinate whole-school campaigns. Our Eco-STEAM competition sees groups of students collect and analyse data to tackle real-world problems. We have run an active Fridays for Future club where members have started petitions, written to MPs and raised awareness both in and out of school. NLCS is a founding member of the London Schools Eco Network and students and staff attend conferences and fortnightly meetings with other schools.
We have invested heavily in new more efficient boilers and heating controls and have installed double glazed windows in the Music School as part of a longer-term programme to reduce heat loss from buildings.
We have a small solar panel array and are seeking to install many more panels to reduce our demand for electricity – all of which comes from green suppliers.
We encourage everyone in the school to save energy by switching off lights, projectors, speakers and screens when not in use and our computers shut down automatically in the evenings.
Travelling to School
We have recognised the importance of promoting our successes in reducing car traffic and in engaging staff and students in our journey towards Net Zero and have committed to using the TfL STARS framework to record our activities and progress. This commitment has been recognised by the London Borough of Harrow and TfL by the award of the Gold STARS accreditation, which is a measure of the real reduction in car use and our efforts to publicise and undertake activities that promote more active, safe and sustainable travel.
Over 600 students use our coach and minibus services every day, reducing the number of cars on the roads. We have a ‘no idling’ policy on the school site to minimise air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
We have hundreds of parents and staff using the Homerun app which allows people to share lifts, minimising the numbers of cars around the school site. The app also encourages independent travel by allowing parents to track the progress of journeys to school.
We have charging secure cycle racks available for staff and students and are aiming to introduce charging points for staff electric vehicles.
Take a look at our Travelling to School page for more information.
Waste and Water
We have a comprehensive recycling system which has seen recycling rates double in just one term.
All our takeout cutlery and packaging is biodegradable and we don’t use any single-use plastic in our canteen.
Our electronic equipment is recycled via Bioteknik.
Our Parents’ Guild runs regular uniform sales and a recycling scheme overseas.
All our paper is Forest Stewardship Council certified. The irrigation system in our gardens is automatic to minimise watering and most of our taps are on timers.
We know there is more we can do and we are working on crisp packet recycling and ways to reduce our use of paper.
Beef and lamb have been eliminated from our menus and this initiative has encouraged a Year 12 student to petition local restaurants to do the same!
All the fish we serve is Marine Stewardship Council certified, and we serve a range of delicious and healthy vegetarian and vegan options.
We have lots of wild spaces around the school which we have deliberately left unmanaged to encourage wildlife. We only use peat-free products, the grounds staff use electric vehicles and we compost our garden waste on-site.
Students have created mammal footprint tunnels and ‘hog houses’ and we have installed bat boxes to provide homes for these endangered mammals.
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